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The great conversion: inside the rush to redevelop properties for life sciences

November 18, 2021 @ 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

The challenge for investors eager to access the booming life sciences market is that there is very little stock to buy, and competition is intense for the assets that do come up for sale. The obvious solution to this problem is to build new labs or convert existing properties.

Join React News’ analysis editor Guy Montague-Jones and a panel of leading experts as we explore how best to pursue successful redevelopments for life sciences.

This webinar will look at:
• What assets are best suited to conversion for life sciences? What is the range of properties that could be suitable?
• What are the costs and what sort of rental premium can developers expect to achieve?
• How much flexibility should / can developers build in?
• What are the best locations?


David Williams

David Williams

Commercial Director, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus

As commercial director, David is responsible for driving the continued expansion of Harwell’s real estate portfolio, fast-tracking the delivery of the 5m sq ft masterplan. Working closely with the wider team, David focuses on engagement with the larger knowledge economy occupiers, both domestically and internationally, to sit alongside the 200 life sciences, energy, space and quantum organisations already on campus.

In his career spanning over 30 years, David has built a wealth of knowledge in the science and technology real estate market, working in transactional and consultancy capacities on numerous business parks, science campuses and urban innovation districts, as well as advising technology companies across a variety of sectors on their occupational requirements. David was director and co-founder of a commercial surveying practice acquired by Bidwells in 2015. David is a chartered surveyor.

Dr Kath Mackay

Dr Kath Mackay

Director of Life Sciences for Bruntwood SciTech

Dr Kath Mackay is Director of Life Sciences for Bruntwood SciTech – the UK’s leading property provider dedicated to driving the growth of the UK science and technology sector. She has a keen interest in growing the life science industry, and businesses and infrastructure within the sector, ensuring the UK is the best place to establish and scale a life science organisation. As Director of Life Sciences, Kath is responsible for developing the life science vision and strategy for Bruntwood SciTech, external affairs, and developing sector specific innovation services and investment support for the life sciences business across our network of campuses. Kath also oversees Alderley Park – the UK’s largest single- site life science campus – the new £310m Birmingham Health Innovation Campus, and Citylabs in Manchester, the world-leading health innovation and precision medicine campus in partnership with Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust.

Tom Mellows

Tom Mellows

UK Head of Savills Science

Tom has 25 years’ experience in commercial real estate and now heads up Savills UK science initiative. He specialises in advising science related occupiers including Autolus, Achilles, Avacta and Quell, as well as landlords and developers looking to deliver specialist science and laboratory related space across the UK. Recent key instructions include being appointed at Brookfield / Arlington’s Manbre Wharf in Hammersmith, a 250,000 sq ft life science focused scheme, and Bruntwood SciTech’s Birmingham Health and Innovation Campus (BHIC). The campus is set to provide up to 700,000 sq ft of lab, office and incubation space, with the first phase due to open in 2023. Tom is at the coal face of emerging life science sector trends, providing advice around lab premiums, differing levels of lab space and service provision, to help the growing number of investors, landlords and developers looking to access this unique market.


November 18, 2021
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm


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Guy Montague-Jones – React News Analysis Editor